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Boating Know How
 Mercury VS Mercruiser

Mercruiser VS Mercury

Some boaters, specifically those who are new to the boating world, may not be aware that Mercury and Mercruiser engines are both very different from each other and are ... read more simultaneously somewhat similar to each other. Mercruiser branches off from the Mercury industry, operating as an inboard/sterndrive application while Mercury and other branches (Mariner, Chrysler, Force, etc.) operate as outboard engines. The need for certain types of engines varies depending on the style of the boat a person has, as well as what kind of performance they require.

Mercury outboard engines mount at the very rear of the boat and are visible to boaters from the helm seat. They can go up to a maximum size of 300 horsepower and come with a twin engine for maximum performance and speed. Outboards are known to be quieter than inboards and are also more fuel efficient. The engine size is measured in horsepower. Some of the common characteristics of any outboard engine include:

  • Powerhead (top of engine)
  • Cowling (engine cover)
  • Tiller handler (controls fuel flow and the movement of the engine/changes direction)
  • Mid-section
  • Lower Unit/Gear
  • Propeller




Mercury sterndrive engines (also known as inboard/outdrive engines), cannot be seen from the driver's seat. One-half of the engine is beneath the deck or just in front of the transom while the lower unit and prop assembly extends out at the bottom of the boat. Mercruiser models are one of the most popular sterndrive brands on the market today due to their outstanding performance, flexibility, and longevity. They are also known to have great corrosion resistance, credited stronger paints, alloys, and many other components. The engine size is measured in liter size but is sometimes referred to in horsepower.

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Mercruiser vs. OEM

Mercruiser vs. OEM

At some point, most boaters will ask themselves or others these questions: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) engine parts, or aftermarket ... read more engine parts? Many boaters wonder if having original Mercruiser parts will guarantee better quality and better performance from the parts. Similarly, boaters often accept aftermarket engine parts in place of original parts because they believe there is no difference between the two classifications and will pay less money for parts. There are many answers offered to this question, describing the pros and cons of purchasing Mercruiser original parts over aftermarket engine parts.

Advantages of OEM Parts

  • Many boaters will agree that the search for OEM Mercruiser parts is considerably less time-consuming than trying to find equivalent aftermarket parts. Finding OEM parts requires having the original part number, which can either be found at local Mercury/Mercruiser dealers or can be cross-referenced on aftermarket websites.

  • Warranties on original Mercruiser products are more specific to Mercruiser engines and will last longer, depending on the product.

  • Boaters feel a sense of reassurance knowing that an OEM part will be exactly the same as the part that they are replacing. Therefore, they know undoubtedly that the quality and performance will be identical.

Disadvantages of OEM Parts

  • OEM engine parts have a reputation of being a high-quality product, which is a primary reason that influences boaters to purchase Mercruiser parts. However, even the premium quality of original manufactured parts is not guaranteed, so the phrase “buyers beware” is especially applicable in this situation.

  • Original Mercruiser Parts (and any OEM engine parts, for that matter) are not parts for bargain-hunting boaters. They are considerably more expensive than aftermarket parts, which may not be appealing to boaters who want to save money and will be buying multiple parts at a time.

For more information, feel free to contact our Sales Department at (800)-914-1123.
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